Living in a carbon-conscious world, everyone needs to look at ways in which they can reduce energy usage, their carbon footprint and, in turn, save on their power bill.
1. Turn off Appliances at the Outlet
Many appliances draw energy even when they are not being used. Common culprits include chargers, the TV, gaming consoles, computer equipment, the washing machine, and the dryer. These appliances, when switched off, can save up to 25 percent of your energy bill.
2. Take Advantage of “Delay Start”
Your washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher may have a “Delay Start” function. The demand for energy usage is usually the lowest between 11 pm and 7 am, and as such, the cost of energy between these hours is usually significantly lower than when used during peak hours. Consider delaying the start of the washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher to the later hours of the evening.
3. Plant Shade Trees
Strategically placed trees can be as effective as other energy saving home improvements, such as insulation and the installation of weather-tight windows and doors. Trees help reduce your heating and cooling costs as well as sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Trees save energy through cooling in the hotter months, and provide a wind break during winter.
4. Use an Outdoor Clothes Line
Clothes dryers eat up energy. When the weather is warm, hang clothes on an outdoor washing line to dry. Or have a dedicated, well-ventilated space in the home to hang clothes to dry. Decreasing the time clothes spend in the dryer will increase their longevity and decrease your energy bill.
If using a clothes dryer is a must, consider the following:
- Make sure your laundry has undergone an efficient spin cycle in the washer. Less moisture means less time in the dryer.
- Clean the lint filters regularly. This improves efficiency and reduces fire hazards.
- Combine clothes and linens with similar weights. Bulkier items will take longer to dry than thinner items.
5. Optimize Hot Water Usage
Electric water heaters can account for the most energy usage in a home. To ensure your system is running optimally consider the following:
- Fix all dripping taps
- Install flow control aerators (especially in showers and basins)
- Wash clothes in cold water
- Take 5-minute showers instead of bathing
- Make sure that the water heater temperature is set to 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit
- Insulate the hot water cylinder and the first 1.5 meters (3 feet) of piping from the cylinder
6. Use heating and cooling sparingly
Heating a house in winter is essential for comfortable living. Along with a smart thermostat, maintaining your system can be your best ally in lowering the amount of energy used to heat and cool your house.
- If possible, only run the heating when you are in a room, especially if you don’t have a central heating or cooling unit. Keep the temperature at a constant 18 – 20 degrees Celsius (64 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Keep the heating or cooling units, and their venting systems clean. Replace or clean any filters regularly (preferably monthly).
- Use ceiling fans to either disperse or trap heat. Refer to the user manual to determine which direction your fan should be spinning to optimize airflow for the temperature conditions.
7. Energy Efficient Appliances
When the time comes to upgrade or replace appliances, look for the most energy and water-efficient appliances you can find that fit your budget and needs.
8. Replace light bulbs with LED bulbs
Perhaps the simplest of all solutions. Replace all light bulbs with LED bulbs. These have a longer life span and save significantly on energy.
Saving on the energy bill and reducing energy requirements goes a long way in saving not only money but reducing your carbon footprint and putting less strain on the environment.
To ensure you receive the best deals on energy efficient appliances for your home, visit LADWP’s Efficient Product Marketplace (www.ladwp.com/epm), where you can buy and apply for rebates for energy-saving items.